schneiderwhelmedgetty

Brodeur: ‘Easy decision’ to keep starting Schneider

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After Cory Schneider posted his first shutout and New Jersey’s first win of the season on Saturday against the Rangers, Peter DeBoer named him the starter for Tuesday’s game against Columbus.

According to Martin Brodeur, that decision was a no-brainer.

“At the end of the day, we need some wins and we’ve played well with him so far,” Brodeur told NorthJersey.com. “You might as well try to get a little roll going. That’s one of the things that I think it’s going to be over the next few months because we got ourselves behind the eight ball. We need to win.”

Brodeur, 0-2-2 on the year with a .865 save percentage and 3.40 GAA, has essentially rotated games with Schneider thus far, though Brodeur did get back-to-back starts on Oct. 4 and 7, something Schneider’s yet to experience.

As such, the decision to give Schneider the Tuesday start in Columbus isn’t an issue — but who gets the next start, well, that’ll be interesting.

Brodeur accurately pointed out that, because of New Jersey’s awful start (1-4-3) to the year, wins are at a premium. That could result in the Devils’ timeshare going the way of Philly’s — what was originally thought to be a Steve Mason-Ray Emery platoon has quickly morphed into Mason’s show, as he’s emerged as the No. 1 while the Flyers desperately try to climb out of their 1-7-0 start to the campaign.

For now, the 41-year-old Brodeur isn’t looking too far into the future, and is saying all the right things about the present.

“It’s just the way it is,” he explained. “[Schneider’s] played really, really well, so it’s a pretty easy decision for the coach to make.”

Game on: Penguins even series with rival Capitals

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The Pittsburgh Penguins will head back home with a split of their second-round series with the rival Washington Capitals.

Former Capitals forward Eric Fehr came back to burn his hold team, as he scored with under five minutes remaining in regulation to help lift the Penguins over Washington with a 2-1 victory in an eventful Game 2 on Saturday. Evgeni Malkin threw the puck toward the net and Fehr was able to re-direct it by Braden Holtby.

Oh, this was an eventful game, indeed.

It started early in the first period with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik catching Penguins blue liner Olli Maatta with a late and high hit that warranted — at least for now — only a minor penalty for interference. Maatta, clearly in distress following the hit, didn’t play another shift and saw only 31 seconds of ice time in total, as Pittsburgh was reduced to five defensemen for the remainder of the game.

It continued in the third period. Kris Letang was furious after getting called for a trip on Justin Williams, and even more ticked off when the Capitals tied the game on the ensuing power play.

For two periods, the Capitals couldn’t get much going. Only four of their players had registered a shot on goal through 40 minutes, while the Penguins held the edge in that department and held the lead.

Washington came out with more jump in the third period, testing rookie netminder Matt Murray with 14 shots in the final 20 minutes. But the Penguins got the late goal to break the deadlock.

Video: Penguins’ Letang was furious after Capitals tie up Game 2 with power play goal

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Kris Letang watched from the penalty box as the Washington Capitals tied up Game 2 with a power play goal in the third period. The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman was called for tripping after he appeared to muscle Justin Williams off the puck as he entered the zone.

Letang let his disagreement with the call be known at the time, and was furious after the Capitals capitalized on a goal from Marcus Johansson.

The Capitals started the period down a goal and being outshot 28-10 by the Penguins, who need a win to even the series.

Also, it seems this is worth mentioning:

Video: Hagelin goes top shelf to give Penguins the lead in Game 2

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In their quest to even the series, the Pittsburgh Penguins had done a nice job through two periods of suffocating the Washington Capitals, while gaining the lead on a beautiful goal.

Carl Hagelin took advantage of a vast amount of space that opened up in front of the Washington net, finishing off a nice pass from Nick Bonino, burying his shot just under the cross bar on the glove side of Braden Holtby.

Through two periods, the Penguins were outshooting Washington 28-10. Only four Capitals players — Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen — had registered shots on goal.

Video: Orpik penalized after catching Maatta with late, high hit

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The Pittsburgh Penguins were without defenseman Olli Maatta for most of the first period of Game 2 after he was on the receiving end of a high, late hit from Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik.

The hit occurred early in the first period, well after Maatta had gotten rid of the puck on a rush into the Washington zone.

Maatta, who nearly fell over as he tried to stand back up, was in obvious distress as he went to the dressing room. Orpik was given a minor penalty for interference on the play.